CBS Renews ‘Evil,’ Orders Full Seasons of Four Other Freshman Shows

CBS is doubling down on all its new shows.

The network has renewed “Evil” for a second season, and handed out full-season orders to its other four freshman series, namely “All Rise,” “Carol’s Second Act,” “The Unicorn,” and “Bob Hearts Abishola.”

“Evil” is set to conclude its 13-episode first season (creators Michelle and Robert King always intended season 1 to be that length, according to CBS) on Jan. 30, 2020, while the other four will still have to wait until later in the season for a definitive renewal decision.

“These terrific new series have attracted a passionate base of viewers and consistent ratings while delivering entertaining, inclusive and relevant storytelling every week,” said Kelly Kahl, president of CBS Entertainment. “They’re off to strong starts and are still being discovered on the many catch-up and playback options available to our viewers today. We’re proud of this freshman class and excited about their potential to tell more great stories and further expand their audiences.”

The network’s decision to continue with all its new shows is perhaps a little surprising given that none of big four network’s freshman offerings have performed all that well to date. Fox made the first fall pickup a couple weeks ago, handing “Prodigal Son” (the highest rated new show so far) nine more episodes, before renewing animated comedy “Bless The Harts” for a second season. Meanwhile NBC effectively made the first cancelation of the fall by shunting Kal Penn comedy “Sunnyside” to its digital platforms and replacing it with the final season “Will & Grace.”

“Evil” is technically CBS’ lowest rated freshman series to date, averaging a 0.62 rating among adults 18-49 in Live+Same Day, and just over 4 million total viewers. The series focuses on a skeptical female psychologist (Katja Herbers) who joins a priest-in-training (Mike Colter) and a contractor (Aasif Mandvi) as they investigate the Church’s backlog of unexplained mysteries, including supposed miracles, demonic possessions and hauntings. The Kings executive produce the CBS TV Studios show alongside Liz Glotzer.

The best newcomer so far for the network in the ratings has been the Walton Goggins comedy “The Unicorn,” averaging a 0.75 rating and 5.6 million total viewers through four episodes. “Unicorn” also hails from CBS’ in-house studio and is about a tight-knit group of best friends and family who help Wade (Goggins) embrace his “new normal” in the wake of the loss of his wife one year ago. Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Omar Miller, and Maya Lynne Robinson also star.

“Bob Hearts Abishola,” which hails from veteran producers Chuck Lorre and Al Higgins, is averaging a 0.73 rating so far and around 5.3 million total viewers. Billy Gardell stars as a middle-aged compression-sock businessman from Detroit who unexpectedly falls for his cardiac nurse, a Nigerian immigrant (Folake Olowofoyeku). The show hails from Warner Bros. Television.

“All Rise,” the Simone Missick courtroom drama, rose to its highest Live+Same Day rating to date this week at a 0.70. The show, which also features Wilson Bethel, Marg Helgenberger, Jessica Camacho, and J. Alex Brinson, brings in an average of just under 5.5 million total viewers per episode and hails from Warner Bros. TV.

Finally, “Carol’s Second Act” has been a consistent performer for CBS so far, hardly wavering from a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49. Emmy winner Patricia Heaton stars as a woman who embarks on a unique second act after raising her children, getting divorced and retiring from teaching: pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor. The show is produced by CBS TV Studios and averages around 5.4 million total viewers.

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